Objectives: Neuropathies can complicate pregnancy, labour and delivery. To determine the prevalence and pattern of neuropathies among pregnant women.
Methods: Cross-sectional questionnaire-based study of 115 pregnant women attending antenatal-care outreaches in South Eastern Nigeria.
Results: Majority (45.2%) of the respondents were, aged 26-30 years; of parity 1 to 4, 79 (68.7%); and of social class 3, 64 (55.7%). Up to 60 (52.2%) of the respondents had heard of neuropathies in pregnancy. About 24.3% thought neuropathies occur from increase blood pressure; 28.7%, from pressure of bones on the nerves; while 33% agreed neuropathies could be treated with exercise. Twenty-eight (24.3%) respondents had experienced neuropathy in the index pregnancy. Neuropathies occurred more frequently at term gestational age, extremes of parity, and decreasing social class. Femoral nerve palsy was the most commonly experienced neuropathy (32.1%). Up to (42.9%) of respondents with neuropathy receive no treatment.
Conclusion: This study indicates appreciable knowledge of neuropath in pregnancy, low prevalence and distorted perception. A high index of awareness of neuropathy, knowledge of the treatment modalities and in-cooperation in to pregnancy health talk will improve perception and treatment, and reduce the burden of Neuropathies on pregnant women.